Space Traffic Management
The future of space situational awareness will increasingly rely on governments and companies sharing data that can be used to improve knowledge of space objects and create more accurate warnings of close approaches.
It is possible to build improved space traffic management approaches to ensure safe operations in space, a panel of experts in the field said Sept. 18, but it will require more transparency among satellite operators.
Kevin O’Connell, director of the Commerce Department’s Office of Space Commerce, said the repository, called the Unified Data Library, is the first step in the transfer of some space situational awareness responsibilities as requested by the White House last year.
The Trump administration’s desire to establish a Space Force could be in jeopardy next year after Democrats assume control of the House, while the departure of a key House appropriator could spell trouble for NASA missions to the potentially habitable moon of Europa.